Monday, 14 March 2011

Niger presidential run-off vote fair and peaceful

Niger has set an example to the rest of Africa during the second round of presidential elections, which were peaceful and free from State interference. The vote, overseen by 2,000 observers from the African Union, regional economic bloc Ecowas, the EU and US, saw voters choose between Mahamadou Issoufou and Seini Oumarou.

The interim military rule helped organise the vote a year after ousting former president Mamadou Tandja. The army, which has pledged to step down in April, said it was not backing either candidate and would respect and serve the government elected by the people.

EU monitoring chief, Santiago Fisas, said the election was a "victory of the people of Niger". He added: "It is an example of how to come again to democracy in peace."

African Union head Khalifa Babacar Sall called the voting process "free, transparent and peaceful”. Speaking on national television president of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Abdourahamane Ghousmane, said provisional overall results of the second round will be known by Monday 14th March.

Sources: BBC News, Bloomberg, Reuters

For more news and expert analysis about the Sahara region, please see Sahara Focus.

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